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Upholding Integrity in Government Documentation

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Government organizations around the world are experiencing the consequences of plagiarism firsthand. A simple mistake can lead to loss of reputation, loss of trust and even lawsuits. It’s important to avoid plagiarism at all costs, and government organizations are held to a particularly high standard. Fortunately, technological solutions such as iThenticate allow government organizations to avoid instances of text plagiarism in an efficient manner.

Government officials are held to a high standard when it comes to original writing. As representatives of the people, it is imperative that government executives uphold the highest standards of integrity in any public-facing documentation.

Government agencies are responsible for publishing a vast number of web content on a daily basis, including legal documents, financial reports, inquiries and more. With such a heavy workload, it may be easy to overlook certain details. However, it’s crucial to remain watchful for plagiarism, as even small signs of unoriginal work can lead to significant consequences.

What Are the Consequences of Unoriginal Work in Government and Politics?

Working in government can be challenging. With greater expectations from the public, and many complex documents to verify and process, trying to save time with paraphrasing or borrowed texts may seem innocuous — but this approach is not worth the risk. Plagiarism in government and politics comes with consequences:

Professional Reputation

If you’re accused of plagiarism, people may regard you with suspicion. You may lose your position, and find it hard to get another government role.

Legal Repercussions

In politics, success relies on keeping the public trust, so it’s important to stay clear of potential legal battles.

Plagiarism Is Not Always Intentional

While plagiarism is never acceptable, it isn't always intentional. Plagiarism can result from an honest mistake or oversight that happens when a lapse of concentration, communication or proper verification lets things slip through the cracks.

The most common form of plagiarism is when somebody takes a study, manuscript or report created by somebody else and voluntarily passes it off as their own without giving any credit to the original author. If you think that this scenario will never occur to you, it’s prudent to be aware of other forms of plagiarism that originate from improper citation.

Even if you intend to create original content and diligently cite your sources, it’s still possible to accidentally plagiarize. Here are some common unintended types of plagiarism to be aware of:

1. Source-based Plagiarism

Failing to cite sources correctly can happen easily in government organizations, especially when they rely on freelancers to conduct research or writing. Sometimes contractors aren’t aware of or don’t meet the expectations for correct referencing.

2. Paraphrasing Plagiarism

There is a misconception that paraphrasing content means you don't need to provide a citation. Even if you change just a few words or rewrite content in your own way, the original ideas and concepts remain the same and must be cited. Always give credit where it's due, even if you haven't used a direct quote from the source.

3. Content Recycling

Also known as auto-plagiarism, this happens when an author reuses portions of their own previous works without correct attribution. Although there is some debate on how much this type of plagiarism matters, government personnel should proceed with caution.

Checking for Text Similarity in Government Documentation With iThenticate

Checking for plagiarism early is important for everyone involved — government workers, agencies or nonprofits working on government research. Plagiarism-checking solutions are becoming increasingly helpful in verifying the originality of grant proposals, legal documents, annual reports, inquiries and much more.

iThenticate stands out as the top choice for leading government agencies and organizations including the United States Department of Energy, the United States Department of Justice, the European Parliament and the United Nations.

iThenticate’s content database guards against citation errors when it’s most important. iThenticate allows you to automatically scan your document against its unique content database. A similarity report will be generated promptly including an overall text match score in your document. The report also shows number-coded and color-coded highlighted parts of the manuscript that correspond to matching sources in the iThenticate database.

When you're looking for plagiarism software for government organizations, here are some factors to consider:

Data Protection Standards

  • When you use iThenticate, all your submissions are added to a private, secure database that only you can access. 
  • As a product of Turnitin, iThenticate complies with the data security standards of the U.S., EU and Switzerland, including EU Data Protection, GDPR compliance and California Privacy Rights.

Content Database Coverage

iThenticate compares your submissions to premium academic content, scholarly journals, books, law reviews, patents, dissertations and theses. This database includes:

  • Over 91 billion web pages
  • 95 percent of the top 10,000 scientific journals
  • 170 million articles

Eliminate the Risks. Elevate Your Standards.

There is a vast array of documentation and recording processes in government organizations, including national or regional indexes, legislative, financial reports, reviews, inquiries, and collaborative projects with multiple researchers, government agencies, or task forces.

When you consider the depth of research required in many of these areas, it’s easy to understand how unintentional plagiarism may happen. However, there is little margin for error in government content, so lack of knowledge is not enough.

While plagiarism is not always intentional, the consequences are often inescapable. Even the hint of suspicion can be enough to cause irrevocable damage to reputations, careers and entire organizations.

You can avoid plagiarism and its potential pitfalls by adding iThenticate, a trusted plagiarism checking tool, to your government technology stack. In doing so, you protect your personal reputation and organization’s image, which builds trust with the public, your partners and the people you serve.

Are you ready to see how your organization can benefit from using iThenticate? Get in touch to schedule a demo today.

Company Bio: Turnitin is a global company dedicated to ensuring the integrity of education and meaningfully improving learning outcomes. For more than 20 years, Turnitin has partnered with educational institutions to promote honesty, consistency and fairness across all subject areas and assessment types. Turnitin’s products are used by educational institutions and certification and licensing programs to uphold integrity and increase learning performance, and by students and professionals to do their best, original work.
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